An old video features young Lionel Messi showing ball-juggling skills with Ronaldinho in both the past and the present.
Social media users widely circulated a video featuring former footballer Ronaldinho displaying ball-juggling skills with a young Lionel Messi. The footage captures both their past and present interactions.
The video, published in several languages, has gained millions of views from Twitter users. "The friendship between Ronaldinho and Messi isn’t talked about enough. The way Ronaldinho mentored and groomed Messi at a young age played a huge part in Messi’s success to be the GOAT," a Twitter user said.
Misbar investigated the viral video and found the claim to be misleading.
The Talented Kid Playing Football is Not Lionel Messi
Contrary to the viral claim, the boy seen in the circulating video is not Lionel Messi.
After conducting a reverse image search, Misbar's team determined that the individual in the viral video is the Spanish player, Cristian Ceballos. Furthermore, one of the earliest versions of the video was uploaded to YouTube as far back as July 2007.
The original video is a documentary of the then-kid Cristian Ceballos showing his football skills with Barcelona's former star Ronaldinho. The video’s title reads, "Cristian Ceballos - Barcelona's boy wonder."
A different YouTube channel has also uploaded a video featuring Ronaldinho displaying his football skills with the kid. The video is titled "Cristian Ceballos Future Ronaldinho."
The football website, Playmaker, also published the same video on Cristian Ceballos’ football profile.
Who Is Cristian Ceballos?
Cristian Ceballos Prieto, born on December 3, 1992, is a Spanish professional footballer who is currently an attacking midfielder or forward and is currently playing for Azerbaijani club Sabah.
At the age of 11, Ceballos joined Barcelona's La Masia youth facility. In 2007, he gained popularity on YouTube after a video showcased him showcasing his ball-juggling skills with Ronaldinho. He progressed through the youth system but faced challenges due to injuries.
After a trial, Ceballos signed with Tottenham Hotspur on July 11, 2011. During his career, he played for various teams before eventually joining Azerbaijani club Sabah until 2024.
Ronaldinho-Messi Close Relationship
The legendary Brazilian footballer, Ronaldinho, formed a strong partnership with Lionel Messi during their time together at Barcelona from 2003 to 2008. They played a key role in Barcelona's success, winning two La Liga titles and the Champions League.
Ronaldinho revealed that they became friends quickly, and he was thrilled to witness Messi's rise to becoming one of the world's best players. Their chemistry on the pitch was exceptional, and Ronaldinho admired Messi's calm and composed demeanor both on and off the field. Despite leaving Barcelona for AC Milan, Ronaldinho's bond with Messi remained close.
Lionel Messi's Debut for Barcelona
Lionel Messi, who came through FC Barcelona's youth system, earned his promotion to the senior team during the 2004-05 season. On October 16, 2004, he made his La Liga debut for the club in a match against city rivals Espanyol.
Messi entered the game as a substitute, replacing Deco in the 82nd minute. Remarkably, at just 17 years and three months old, he became the youngest player ever to represent Barcelona in an official competition.